And the Cubs win #91!
After being relatively frustrated by Robert Stephenson for five innings (4H, 1ER, 2BB), the Cubs came back big in the bottom of the eighth inning on the strength of Ian Happ’s 24th home run. It was his second in as many games and just another piece of a stellar rookie season.
But – with all due respect to Happ – that wasn’t the biggest hit of the afternoon. Instead, that distinction goes to Cubs reliever, Hector Rondon.
After throwing a scoreless, hitless top of the seventh inning, Rondon stepped up to the plate and recorded the first hit of his Major League career – and boy was it a rocket. At a scolding 39 MPH, that shot traveled a distance of about 17 feet and brought his career offensive numbers of up to a 172 wRC+ (#MVP).
Take a look:
Hilariously, he didn’t even end up pitching in the eighth, yielding duties to Brian Duensing. Justin Grimm came on to close things out in the ninth – he went 1,2,3 – and that was all she wrote.
Oh, and one last thing: Jose Quintana’s final line doesn’t look that great at first glance (4.2 IP, 6H, 4ER), but I’m not so sure it was really all that bad. For one, he retired the first eleven batters he faced, and allowed just one hit (a double) through the first four innings. For another, he struck out five Reds while walking no one … again. That brings his K/BB ratio in his last six games up to a staggering 45Ks to 4 walks. Ultimately, I’m not sure it’s an NLDS needle mover in either direction.
Cubs win. Cubs win. Two more regular season games to go.